The personal has always been political and, these days, the political is getting deeply, deeply personal. I don’t know about you but I’m reeling from the recent series of Trump administration decisions that effectively deny LGBTQ people full citizenship.
Here are some of the lowlights:
- the Department of Justice filed an amicus brief before the US Court of Appeals arguing that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission erred in deciding that the Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination protects gay and lesbian employees,
- the US voted against a United Nations resolution that condemned the death penalty as punishment for consensual same-sex relationships,
- the Justice department announcement that walks back Obama era discrimination protections for transgender workers under Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and
- the Justice Department issued a Religious Freedom memo with 20 ‘principles’ that are a rehashing of the worst talking points for a religious right to discriminate.
These are significant blows to hard-won gains of the past several years. I’m not sure how many more setbacks to equality and humanity we are going to see but, when you consider we haven’t even had one full year of the Trump presidency, it ain’t looking good.
And, of course, all of this is on top of the shooting in Vegas, on top of watching our President tossing paper towels to Puerto Ricans who are without clean water or power, on top of more Congressional attacks on the healthcare system (including allowing the CHIP to expire), etc, etc, etc.
Living in Trump’s America is a stark reminder that nothing should be taken for granted — we are seeing first hand that it only takes one bad election to regress on LGBTQ rights.
Which makes it even important to ensure that we vote each and every time we get the chance. Voting is how we have our voices heard and get leaders who will represent our best interests. Elections matter. Voting matters. As the project Let America Vote states, “You can’t win the political argument if you’re not part of the conversation.”
This is especially true for local elections. Local government affects almost every aspect of our daily lives – school and library quality, policing and public safety, trash and recycling, sewers and drainage, public transportation and street maintenance, and many other quality of life issues.
By voting in local elections (and holding our elected officials accountable), we can create the change we want to see. And every single vote makes a difference! Typically just 1 in 5 voters participate in non-presidential elections. That means that those who do vote have an outsize influence in the result.
Now, I understand that finding information on local races can be difficult – there isn’t near the coverage as there is during presidential elections. It can be hard to find out when to vote and/or what is on the ballot. One place to look is Rock the Vote, which has state by state info on upcoming elections.
To help those in Louisiana, I’m posting endorsements from two organizations I work closely with here in New Orleans.
Additionally, here is the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana’s guide to the constitutional amendments on the ballot
So, please geaux vote!